As reported in last week’s Update, the Senate voted not to take up the bill that would have rescinded funds previously designated for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and other programs. Because the legislation was subject to a deadline of June 22 under special rules for rescissions, it is now “dead.” The vote was close – 48-50. All Democrats and two Republicans – Senators Susan Collins (ME) and Richard Burr (NC) — opposed a motion to consider the legislation. Senator Burr opposed the bill because of the proposed cut to the Land Water Conservation Fund. See Trump’s $15B Cutbacks Bill Fails First Senate Test (Politico, 6/20/18).
FY 2019 Appropriations
As reported in last week’s Update, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) marked up the FY 2019 Labor-HHS appropriations bill on June 15. See the bill text and summary. The total funding level was the same as it was in FY 2018, although the bill would reduce overall spending for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) by $196 million below this year’s level, while increasing funding for the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant by $3 million above current funding. Full committee consideration of the bill has been postponed until after the 4th of July recess. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, and Education is marking up its version of the bill this week. The Labor-HHS bill is usually the most contentious of the appropriations bills. In all likelihood, the final legislation will not be produced until the very end of the fiscal year (Sept. 30), and even then, it may be a “continuing resolution” to provide level funding until a compromise can be reached, quite likely after the November congressional elections.